July 25, 2021

What the reopening of baseball in Japan could mean for MLB (Pinstripe Alley)


Baseball in South Korea began in early May, and now it seems Japan will be next. The Nippon Professional Baseball season will begin on June 19, commissioner Atsushi Saito announced Monday. The 2020 NPB campaign will begin without fans in attendance during the early stages, but the league will continue to monitor the situation in hopes of allowing spectators into the ballparks later in the summer.

The relaunched season won’t be without other changes as well, obviously. NPB normally plays 143 games during the regular season, but Saito said clubs would be aiming to complete 120. They have yet to officially release a schedule or the health/safety guidelines, but they have assured that a season will be held, and they will declare a NPB champion.

Along with those adjustments, interleague play between the Pacific League and the Central League has been eliminated and team will play exhibition games from June 2-14.

There’s no doubt that it’s encouraging for MLB fans to see another top-level professional league gearing up to resume play, but then again, those other leagues don’t have the tension that the league has with the MLB Players Association. However, things may be…

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